Glycogen synthase kinase 3 regulates cell fate in Dictyostelium

Cell. 1995 Jan 13;80(1):139-48. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(95)90458-1.


Extracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) induces the formation of prespore cells in Dictyostelium but inhibits stalk cell formation. We have cloned gskA, which encodes the Dictyostelium homolog of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3), and discovered that it is required for both cAMP effects. Disruption of gskA creates a mutant that aggregates but forms few spores and an abnormally high number of stalk cells. These stalk cells probably arise from an expanded prestalk B (pstB) cell population, which normally produces the basal disc of the fruiting body. In cultured mutant cells, cAMP neither inhibits pstB cell differentiation nor induces efficient prespore cell differentiation. We propose that cAMP acts through a common pathway that requires GSK-3 and determines the proportion of prespore and pstB cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / chemistry
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Dictyostelium / cytology*
  • Dictyostelium / enzymology*
  • Dictyostelium / genetics
  • Dictyostelium / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Protozoan Proteins*
  • Spores, Fungal / cytology


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • ecmB protein, Dictyostelium
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L34674